To test a keyboard, the best way to do so is to use it for an extended period of time, so that’s what I did. Over a few days I tested the Ozone Strike in general typing (this review was written with it), gaming and general usage.
The games I tested the keyboard with were:
- Trackmania Nations Forever
- Serious Sam HD
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare II
- Frets on Fire (FoFix)
Some people might not consider a gaming keyboard necessary, and in reality, it’s not. However, if you take your gaming seriously, if you feel every micro second counts, the Cherry Black switches found in this mechanical keyboard will improve things for you. One of the big advantage of this type of switch (not just the black ones) is that they are activated before being fully depressed; unlike other dome or spring based switches. This means that little dodge to the left you made, happens that bit sooner. There’s not a lot in it, but it’s there.
Now there are certain games that a back-to-basics mechanical keyboard – like the Ozone Strike – don’t compliment so well. There’s no programmable macro keys so MMO and RPG players might miss the fact they can’t queue up commands. I would also imagine that the missing Windows key will annoy some people. I won’t lie, you do miss the windows+D command, but what I don’t miss is accidentally minimising my game.
Thoughout all games I had no problem with the Ozone Strike. It’s a solid gaming keyboard and every key press feels responsive and speedily registered. I did however wish that the wrist rest was a bit bigger for Trackmania so that I could have some support during the use of the arrow keys.
Now as with many mechanical keyboards, the Stike is very smooth to type on. It also has a very satisfying clack to it as you tap away. Cherry switches – even those which arn’t designated as having a “click” – do have a certain sound which might annoy some, as it’s hardly quiet. However, I love it. This is the noise for me.
On top of how the board sounds, it has a a lovely feel to it. It’s not tactile, that’s not a feature of this type of switch, but it has a good springy feel with a very solid touch down; this is no wobbling rubber dome setup. Those not used to typing on a Cherry switch board will certainly notice the difference in pressure required though. This is one of those keyboards that needs quite a tap to get it to depress completely. You quickly adjust, but it does mean that over time, writing large pieces (such as this review) there is some wrist ache built up. I would imagine that over much longer periods you would get used to this and it would in-fact strengthen your wrists, but if you’re the kind that really types a lot and are perhaps used to those rubber dome keys, you do need to account for an adjustment period.
While I’ve addressed a bit of this in the above typing segment, comfort overall deserves being discussed a bit more. While typing does have a little bit of wrist ache, overall the Strike is pretty comfortable to use. All the surfaces are smooth and grippy enough so that your hands don’t slide all over the place. The wrist rest works pretty well when you’re not typing and supports you even more when you have the underside stands engaged.
I would personally prefer if the wrist rest was a little longer, as when playing games like Trackmania (using the arrow keys) you don’t have much support since it simply doesn’t extend any further.